Berkshire Banshees, Gallery and the WRC Rules

Luke White ​​

Berkshire Banshees Wheelchair Rugby Club Head Coach

I've been playing wheelchair rugby since 2011. In that period I've had time at London Wheelchair Rugby Club, Stoke Mandeville Maulers and Canterbury Hellfire, plus spells in the GB Development Squad and the GB Elite Squad. 
I've coached at both youth and senior level since 2014. Additionally, I spent two years working for Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, where I headed the development of a new form of the sport: Wheelchair Rugby Fives.

Please don't hesitate to enquire about joining the Banshees and let me help find the right role for you...

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Banshee Stories

I broke my neck in 1982, aged 17 resulting in incomplete tetraplegia.  I have good muscle function in my right arm and leg, but not so much on my left side.  I just got on with my life after my injury, until my health declined for reasons I now know are related to ageing with spinal injury. 

In 2018 I was granted ill-health retirement from the Civil Service, I'm 53 now.  To help me get as well as I can be I started regular physiotherapy and exercise, including swimming and going to a local specialist gym.   

It's tough keeping up the motivation for fitness and therapy in isolation, so I was looking to find a team activity and was really pleased to stumble across a wheelchair rugby taster session at my local leisure centre, I loved it straight away. I was even more pleased to find there were enough other people interested that we could form a Berkshire club, and I've been involved ever since.  
Wheelchair rugby is a great sport, it it is very inclusive as it was designed for people with a range of disabilities, it is pretty technical so even when you are up against players with higher function you can be effective, and have fun, and it's a great complement to your existing fitness/therapy regime.  It is good to do a team sport, it keeps you motivated to improve yourself, and you don't always have to carry everything yourself as when you are doing an individual activity because you are part of  a team.   

Come and join us at one of our Saturday our training sessions, I guarantee you'll love it!


"I am Shane I am 22 and studying at Berkshire College of Agriculture. I have Cerebral Palsy and love wheelchair rugby and being part of Berkshire Banshees. Being part of the club has given me a sport I can take part in. It has also helped me socially to play a sport and be supported as a member of the team. I look forward to the training sessions and games" 


Ian has always enjoyed sport and wheelchair rugby allows him, despite the physical challenge, to play something as part of a team.  

"I had a stroke back in 2009 at the age of 55, which left me with right side weakness, speech and language problems.  I'm naturally right handed, but that hand no longer functions properly so I have to operate the wheelchair and catch/pass the ball with just my left hand.  I had a physical job, which I'm now unable to do, but I try to keep as fit as possible - as well as WCR I use the gym regularly and belong to a ski club for the disabled.

I'm involved because It's good to play a tactical game - I enjoy the competitive element.  It's great meeting new people of all ages."


Seb was born with hip and foot deformities with muscle weakness /shortened achiles tendons and has arthritis. This makes walking very difficult and painful. He also has Aspergers which causes social avoidance and anxiety. 

Seb got interested in wheelchair rugby since the 2012 Paralympics. He has always been involved in disabled sport since an early age but as his condition deteriorated his mobility decreased and was unable to play. This affected his self esteem and his well-being.

Joining the BBWR team has been a lifeline for him to get back into competitive sports and being part of a team has helped him socially and given him a new passion.


Basic rules of the Game

  • The game is played with an official IWRF game ball on a hardwood basketball court marked with sidelines, baselines, a mid-court line, a centre circle and two key (goal) areas
  • The object of the game is to carry the ball over the opposing team’s goal line to score a point
  • For a goal to count, at least two wheels of the wheelchair must cross the goal line, and the player must have firm control of the ball when he or she crosses the goal line
  • Each team is allowed to have up to 12 players, but only 4 are allowed on the court at one time
  • All players are assigned one of seven numerical sport classes, which is a measure of their functional ability. This number ranges from 0.5 (the least function) to 3.5 (the highest level of function), and is calculated in 0.5 increments.
  • The total value of the sport classes on court for each team must not exceed 8.0 points. Teams are allowed an extra 0.5 points for each female player they have on the court
  • The game is played in four 8-minute quarters; there is a 2-minute break at the end of the first and third quarters, and a 5-minute break at the half
  • On each possession of the ball, teams have 40 seconds to score a goal, unless there is less time than this left on the game clock
  • After a goal has been scored, or after any stoppage in play, the player has 10 seconds to inbound the ball
  • The team that inbounds the ball in its own end has 12 seconds to advance the ball over the mid-court line
  • No player on the team in control of the ball may remain in the opposing team’s key area for more than 10 seconds
  • The player in possession of the ball must dribble or pass the ball at least once every 10 seconds
  • The defending team must have no more than three players in their key area while defending it
  • Wheelchair Rugby is a contact sport in which chair to chair contact is permitted, but physical body contact between players is not allowed. However, players may not strike another player’s wheelchair anywhere behind the axle of the rear wheel in such a way as to cause the chair to rotate horizontally or vertically
  • In regulation play, each team is allowed four 30-second time-outs which may be called by players on the floor, and two 1-minute time-outs that can be called from the bench
  • In the event of a tie after regulation play, an overtime period of 3 minutes is played. If the game is still tied, additional overtime periods are played until one team is declared the winner
  • There is a two-minute break between overtime periods, and each team is awarded one additional 30-second timeout for each overtime period played
  • A regulation game will take approximately 115 minutes to complete